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Modding is the act of altering aspects of a game by manipulating its program code and other resources. A number of things qualify as mods, ranging from palette swaps to the creation of entirely new maps. Some mods involve the alteration of game resources, while others run independently of a game and edit its working memory. Because modding is often used for cheating, it is not allowed on Xbox Live and the use of a modded Xbox on Xbox Live will result in a terminated account. However, modding can be done without penalty in Halo Custom Edition, an expansion of Halo PC.
Modding in the Halo series typically involves manipulation of a map's tags.
- 1 Planning to Mod Halo?
- 2 Modding Tools
- 3 By game
- 4 Cheating With Assembly/Tag Editor's
- 5 Bungie takes action
- 6 Halo 5: Forge
- 7 Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- 8 Game Sources
- 9 Sources
Planning to Mod Halo?
The table below determines the ability to mod that Halo game!
|Game?||Ability to Mod||What Platform?||Method|
|Halo CE and Custom Edition||Yes||PC and Xbox||PC and Xbox: Various mod tools. Halo: Custom Edition is NOTORIOUS for the amount of modding tools available!|
|Halo 2||Yes||PC, Xbox Classic, AND Xbox 360! MCC Version: No||PC: Assembly: The RTE Tool. See tutorial HERE. Xbox Classic: Modchip. XB360: RGH/JTAG|
|Halo 3||Yes||Xbox 360 but not Xbox One or MCC||Through JTAG/RGH/XDK|
|Halo 3: ODST||Yes||Xbox 360 but not MCC||Various tools|
|Halo Reach||Yes||Xbox 360 but not Xbox One||JTAG/RGH/XDK|
|Halo 4||Yes||Xbox 360 but not Xbox One or MCC||Unpublished/rare tools besides credit editors found online THAT WILL GET YOU BANNED FAST.|
|Halo 5||Yes/No. Only on Halo 5: Forge for PC. Not Linked here!||XBONE/PC||Unpublished/rare tools by big name Youtubers! Ex: GameCheat13|
|Halo: The Master Chief Collection||Yes (Can't enter Matchmaking)||PC (Steam)||Assembly|
|Notices:||READ THIS BEFORE MODDING ABOVE GAMES|
|General Notice:||DO NOT MOD ONLINE: If you mod online on the Xbox 360, you will get banned. Modding on the Xbox One is near impossible. Leaking/sharing your tool/mods will have you banned from Xbox Live, console banned, and your method patched. Modding on the Xbox One is unfair and considered cheating. GameCheat13 has vowed never to share his methods!|
|X1 Notice||Due to the Xbox One being a NEW console mod tools and mod programs will be patched fast.|
Enjoy! And Have fun.
Assembly - Releases A tool for Real Time Edit's on Halo 2, 3 and Reach! This program is easy to learn! Assembly allows the users choice of Halo: 2, 3 or Reach to be open while editing in-game Tags Real Time.
Ascension - Tag editing tool for Halo Reach (similar to Assembly)
Alteration - Tag editing tool for Halo 3 (similar to Assembly)
Liberty - Campaign Game Save Editor Halo Signer - GPD Resigner
Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo Custom Edition, an expansion to Halo PC, allows users to load and play user-made maps. Because all of the game's assets are stored as "tags" in map files, virtually everything that isn't part of the core game engine can be altered by a mapmaker. This, as one might expect, includes core map geometry, AI scripts, map scripts, textures, weather and skybox effects, sounds, weapons, and vehicles. This system, combined with the availability of programs that extract tags from official campaign maps, makes it possible for mapmakers to create custom single-player campaigns, complete with cutscenes.
"Hacks" are technically another form of modding. Hacks generally take the form of third-party programs that a user activates after starting the game. They operate by reading and editing the game's working memory. Hacks usable by clients include aimbots, sightjacking programs, third-person point-of-view and flycam utilities, heads-up display-disabling programs, texture modifications, name hacks, and draw distance changers. Hosts can use a wider variety of hacks without causing desynchronizations; these include dedicated server administration tools, weapon mods, hacks that can change individual players' properties on-the-fly, and even a tool that recreates Halo 3's Infection mode.
Mods and hacks can be used to gain access to retail-only gametypes in the trial version of Halo PC. Programs exist that can convert retail-only maps into demo-compatible maps.
Halo 2 Xbox
It is possible to modify maps that are installed to the hard drive, such as Containment (Level) and Terminal (Level). Because the Halo 2 engine still uses the "tag" system from Halo: Combat Evolved, it is therefore possible to edit any resource or asset in the map. However, mods will not synchronize for all players unless the person using the modded map is host. (So if a client modded Containment to make SMGs fire Scorpion rounds, and then they joined a game hosted by a non-modder, only the client with the mod would see Scorpion rounds come out of their SMG.)
Halo 2 Vista
Halo 2 Vista has software that allows RTE (Real Time Edits) to the campaign levels. This tool is Assembly "Not Related to the Level Assembly" This tool will work on Halo 2 Vista's Campaign along with a few other Halo games! The software does not have protection for Multiplayer maps, but instead hides all Tags from normal multiplayer .map files and puts them in a single file. RTE's Allow the Game (Halo 2 Vista) to be open while the mods are injected/poked into the game by editing values! The mods are removed when you leave the Mission/Multiplayer! Although you can make SPPF patches with Assembly then later you can use an SPPF Patcher to apply them to the default .MAP files! MAKE BACKUPS OF YOUR .MAP FILES, THEY COULD CORRUPT!
Cheating With Assembly/Tag Editor's
With the release of Halo 2 online, cheating in Halo 2: Project Cartographer has been banned. An advanced system has been enforced to make sure you remain banned if you cheat online!
Console-based mods became very widely-available in Halo 3, thanks to the development of the File Share and other ways of transferring user-created content. Though modding on the scale of Halo Custom Edition cannot be done without a devkit or a modded console, user-created Files can be altered using simple utilities to produce unusual effects.
Bungie does not allow the uploading of modded map or game variants to one's File Share, nor do they allow the uploading of modded Films, Film Clips, or screenshots. However, they do allow the uploading of un-modded Screenshots and Films showcasing modded map and game variants. After viewing a Film or Film Clip, the map and game variants from that Film are stored in a player's Recent Maps and Recent Gametypes; this allows players to share modded maps and gametypes by simply sharing un-modded Films of those gametypes on those maps.
Jtag/RGH/Devkit mods are essentially limitless. Any object in any map can be altered to do anything. Examples include:
- The development of entirely new weapons, such as "mind powers".
- Altering weapons and grenades to fire different projectiles, or to spawn various objects (like vehicles, active Power Drains, or Spartan bipeds) when fired.
- Editing Warthogs so that their tires kick up sniper shots instead of dirt.
- Disabling all kill barriers and invisible walls in a map.
- Changing map textures.
- Biped swaps (such as playing as a Brute in Campaign, or turning Marines into Spartans).
- Playing on the main menu.
- Altering the movement speeds of map scenery, such as the wheel on Last Resort.
- Altering bullet physics; for example, making a Sniper Rifle score headshots through walls, even when missing a target by several feet.
- Attaching a Warthog Turret to another Warthog Turret, attaching that turret to a detached Machine Gun Turret, and then having a player man each turret, such that one player is carrying another player who is carrying another player.
Map variants, for example, can be created in Forge and then modded. Forgeable objects can be replaced with any non-terrain objects in a map. Through this method, a variety of development leftovers can be added to maps. These include partially-Forgeable objects from the Halo 3 Epsilon build (Deployable Lookout Towers and Shades), unused game objects (like Rocket Launcher ammo cases and Needler ammo pickups on Blackout), and unused map-specific objects (like a hologram of the Ark on Guardian). Some vehicles cannot be Forged onto a map, but can be modded onto the map; examples include Hornets and Banshees on Narrows, and Warthogs on The Pit. Warthog turrets can be placed independently of a Warthog. Map-specific objects (like Sandtrap's Elephants and Guardian's birds) can be created and moved using modding. Objective objects, such as bombs, skulls and flags, can be modded onto a map, in which case they are available for use in all gametypes. Inactive bipeds (Spartans, Elites, and Monitors) can also be placed on maps. Even large pieces of map scenery, such as the UNSC Aegis Fate on Sandtrap, can be modded, though such mods are only visible to the host.
A list of notable objects that can be modded on each map:
- Missile Pod Turret
- High Ground
- SAM launcher
- Banshee (Forgeable)
- Hornet (Forgeable)
- The Pit
Gametype modifications allow changes to certain settings in gametypes. Most settings use enumerated values—in other words, a finite list of choices—preventing any significant mods from being made. It is possible, however, to enable Forging capability in any gametype. There are also some settings that are stored as integer values, for example:
- Respawn Time
- Flag/Bomb Return Time
- Sudden Death Time
- Captures per Round
- Flag/Bomb Reset Time
Most other settings are enumerated, and the only values available are those usable in-game. The Primary and Secondary Weapons settings are exceptions; though enumerated, they support values that are not accessible in-game. When such values are assigned to these settings, the settings will appear to have blank values (when editing the gametype in-game). If the gametype settings specify a weapon that is not available in a map, the player will spawn with an Assault Rifle in place of that weapon. The list of usable weapon values is as follows:
- Battle Rifle
- Assault Rifle
- Plasma Pistol
- Energy Sword
- Plasma Rifle
- Rocket Launcher
- Sniper Rifle
- Brute Shot
- Depleted Sword
- Beam Rifle
- Spartan Laser
- No weapon
- Gravity Hammer
- Flame Thrower
- If the player drops this weapon and is not holding another, they will end up with no held weapon.
- Missile Pod
- If the player drops this weapon and is not holding another, they will end up with no held weapon.
Gametypes also have the .blf (Blam File Header/Blam Library Format) header, which stores information such as the Variant Name, Variant Author, and Variant Description. These fields may be edited to hold any value, including censored terms and control characters, and displayed in the menu. Control characters allow symbols and icons to be inserted into the map's description. An XML-like syntax allows colored text, the current date and time (updated in real-time), and the name of a viewer's gamertag to be inserted into the description. It can become difficult for any information about the file to be verified locally, including the original author.
Screenshots and Films
Players in Halo: Reach have been able to use offline mods to unlock armor pieces prematurely, "fly" UNSC Frigates in Long Night of Solace (by "attaching" the Frigates to Sabres), "fly" the Pillar of Autumn on its titular level (using the same method, but with a Banshee), pilot Seraphs and other normally-unusable vehicles, use Jackal shields and other normally-unusable items, and use a Bungie-exclusive font glyph (the Bungie logo) as a Service Tag.
Devkit mods also revealed hidden functionality in the Beta. One could join and host Local and System Link games, and break into the Custom Game lobby via the Theater lobby. (Gametype settings were entirely non-functional, though whether this is due to the Beta or due to the devkit mods is unclear.) As in Halo 3, weapons could be altered to fire different projectiles or spawn new objects, like vehicles.
Bungie takes action
- Main article: Archive:Bungie With Teeth
This has become such a widespread problem in the Matchmaking system that Bungie was forced to resolve the problem by releasing auto-updates which ban hackers from the system and terminate their accounts. Bungie has banned thousands of players and is working to clean up the rest, earning in the process the moniker 'Banhammer.' Several sites offer a list of cheaters and hackers.
Although there used to be several ways to mod, Xbox Live and Bungie have collaborated to rectify the programming mistakes and prevent the game from being modded as much. They are also reinforcing much stricter punishments for cheaters, such as instant bans and longer suspensions.
Halo 5: Forge
The Exuberant mod by YouTuber GameCheat13 allows players to:
- Customize armor/weapons without the need for REQs or a console to make changes
- Change the player HUD to a HUD from the Campaign (ex. Fred-104's HUD, etc.)
- Change player FoV
- Change player Spartan ID fields (assasinations, announcer, and emblem)
- Enable a local Forge/Halo 5: Guardians server for testing AI (This can get you banned in online play!)
You cannot be banned for using Exuberant unless you are using options from the "Local Only" tab.
Because Halo 5: Forge does not have Arena or Warzone, your progress on Xbox One will not be harmed.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Although Forge is to come at a later date, you can edit the hex value in a certain file to enable and play Forge early and make maps early.
Note: By modifying the game files, it is recommended that you make a backup of the unmodified file BEFORE you modify it, and you MUST play with the anti-cheat OFF by launching through the Steam library and not through the shortcut. Also note that this will prevent you from entering matchmaking. This will not get you banned.
Note: There is no "true source" for modding as it is done at a player's demand. However, it may be witnessed in the following games. Though there are various other builds of the following games users have found and modded on also.
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Halo: PC
- Halo: Custom Edition
- Halo 2
- Halo 2 Vista
- Halo 3 Beta- please note that this was the beta version and not the final product
- Halo 3
- Halo Wars
- Halo 3: ODST
- Halo: Reach Multiplayer Pre-Beta- please note that this was the pre-beta version and not the final product
- Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta- please note that this was the beta version and not the final product
- Halo: Reach
- Halo 4
- Halo 5: Forge
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- Halo Online
- Se7enSinS, AltSierra117, OfficialKaden
- Modacity: Lumoria Episode 1 Released
- Modacity: [App] Sightjacker for 1.04/1.07/1.08/1.09 PC
- Halomaps.org: Halo Third Person Fov
- Halomaps.org: Halo FlyCam
- Halomaps.org: Halo Screen Options
- Halomaps.org: Player Name Hack
- Halomaps.org: Clipping Distance Changer
- Modacity: rec0's Server App for Halo CE 1.09
- Halomaps.org: IG-brainz V1.50
- YouTube: My Very Last Mod: Halo 3 Mind Powers
- YouTube: Halo 3 - Valhalla DEV KIT Mods PART 1 of 2
- YouTube: Halo 3 - Valhalla DEV KIT Mods PART 2 of 2
- YouTube: Halo 3 Modded Map - Snow on Valhalla!
- YouTube: Get a JTAG, Have Fun.
- YouTube: Halo 3 Dev Kit Mods On Retail Console- Campaign Biped Swaps
- YouTube: Halo 3 - Playing on the main menu
- YouTube: Halo 3 Snowbound MOD (X360) 50+ Master Chiefs & MORE????
- YouTube: Halo 3: Mod "70 banshees"
- YouTube: Halo 3 Guardian mod
- YouTube: Snowbound mod
- YouTube: Halo 3: Sandtrap Modded map: 2 Frigates!Forward Unto Dawn name visible on Frigate 35 seconds into the video.
- YouTube: Halo 3 Map Variants: UFO Landing
- YouTube: Lockdown Halo 3 Mod
- YouTube: Halo 3: "Newconstruct" Mod
- YouTube: Halo 3: New Guardian Mod - "HologramFest"
- YouTube: Halo 3 Modded Map - Ace Track (Highgrounds)
- YouTube: Halo 3: PELICANS on The Pit *Mod*
- Bungie.net: Halo Reach Files: Haunted Helmet Mod (film)
- Bungie.net: Halo Reach Files: Flying The Frigate (film clip)
- Bungie.net: Halo Reach Files: Flying The Pillar of Autumn (film clip)
- Bungie.net: Halo Reach Files: [Hack] 戦艦オータム - 操縦 ☆ (film clip)
- Bungie.net: Halo Reach Files: Secret Vehicles (film clip)
- Bungie.net: Halo Reach Files: Flying The Transport Jet (film clip)
- Bungie.net: Halo Reach Files: Flying The Longsword (film clip)